Saturday, 30 January 2016

Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue

My blog today was inspired by two entirely separate things, firstly a walk we had last weekend and secondly reading Jane's great blog The life of an eccentric English booklady where she shared some wonderful 19th century advice on improving lowness of spirits.  One of the suggestions for improving mood was to 'Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue'.    I must admit that even spending time in our garden in sunshine this afternoon, listening to the birds and seeing what is happening outside did make me very happy.  My hands are scratched by brambles and we barely scratched the surface of all the work there is to do, but just being outside was so lovely.

Last weekend we went for a walk which took in both farmland and woodland so I thought I'd share some of the pictures I took.

The ducks enjoying the new pond created by incessant rain

Sodden fields

Looking across a valley filled with beech and birch trees

Muddy banks of the river.  We saw a pair of dippers dancing in and out of the water

Beech trees and much lichen

Ferns growing out of moss and lichen on a tree

Ferns haven't really died back from last year.

The sheep were quite muddy in their field

Very free range chickens

Hedgerow not looking quite right for winter

The holly bush, a sober lump of green,
Shines through the leafless shrubs all brown and grey,
And smiles at winter be it eer so keen
With all the leafy luxury of May.
And O it is delicious, when the day
In winter's loaded garment keenly blows
And turns her back on sudden falling snows,
To go where gravel pathways creep between
Arches of evergreen that scarce let through
A single feather of the driving storm;
And in the bitterest day that ever blew
The walk will find some places still and warm
Where dead leaves rustle sweet and give alarm
To little birds that flirt and start away.
John Clare - Winter Walk


  1. It all looks wonderful, I always feel a sense of peace under the trees.

  2. The countryside does look amazingly green this winter. You are so lucky to see dippers nearby.

    Thank you for the John Clare poem. He had the keenest eye for the small things.

    1. Thanks! I think I need to read more of his poetry.

  3. Thank you for the kind mention. A walk can make such a difference can't it? I feel a bit thwarted this afternoon as it started to pour with rain just as we were about to head out for a wander, so we stayed inside. I love the John Clare poem, it's years since I read it and it's so descriptive. Jane xx

    1. I really loved your post! It isn't good walking weather at the moment, hope you aren't too buffeted by the wind and rain! xx